Rachel Paige
March 09, 2018 9:26 am

Something that 2018’s A Wrinkle In Time has that the 1962 book by the same name does not? A mean girl.

Disney’s latest fantasy, directed by Ava DuVernay, doesn’t stray far from the source material, but there are a few minor changes here and there. While a few characters are completely removed, there’s also one character who’s been inserted into the story. Meet Veronica, played by Rowan Blanchard. She goes to school with Meg, she’s a popular girl and Meg’s next-door neighbor…and also a terror.

Taking on a role we’ve never seen her play before, Rowan Blanchard is decidedly not nice in Wrinkle in Time. On the anniversary of the disappearance of Meg’s father, Veronica leaves a note on Meg’s door, suggesting that she should disappear, too. Oh WOW, girls can be damn cruel sometimes.

However, as we later learn during the movie, there’s actually a reason behind Veronica’s sour demeanor. During a sort of flashback scene — where the Mrs. have decided to show Meg what evil “It” can do when it spreads — we see Veronica step on a scale in her room, completely distraught. And hanging on her bedroom mirror? A sign listing off everything she’s not allowed to eat — no exceptions.

For any girl — whether young or old — this scene hits home. It’s not a stretch to say that at some point in time, every woman on the planet has struggled with their body image, and the way it’s portrayed here in Wrinkle In Time is scary accurate. It’s also a scene Blanchard completely improvised.

“That [scene] wasn’t in the script,” Blanchard told HelloGiggles during the Los Angeles press day for the movie. “I finished my camerawork and then Ava had me come back in. They built my character a set. [Ava] was like, ‘We’re just going to follow you.’ I’ve never had so much freedom and so much trust from a director ever. She set me up with her camera operator and it was literally just me and him in the room. He followed me around and we were just doing it.”

While the scene is powerful for us, it’s also very powerful for Blanchard, and a lot of that has to do with the trust DuVernay gave her to craft this performance. It was also one of Blanchard’s first times being given free reign to run with her own character choices, sans script.

“It felt really amazing to be able to act out the character in that way, because I come from sitcom, where everything’s very scripted, very staged, very performative,” Blanchard continued. “It was really exciting for me to be able to interact with the character in that way. I’m really excited to see that scene on screen, because when we were filming it, it was really emotional…I would literally say every single girl has had that moment where you’re just like, ‘I hate my body.’ It’s like, that’s what [the scene] is.”

And if you’re anything like me, you’ll cry during the scene because it resonates so deeply. Remember to bring tissues, and Wrinkle In Time is now in theaters.